If a response is filed and the other party is not represented by an attorney, the Court will schedule an Early Resolution Conference ("ERC"). Both parties must attend the conference or each party will be assessed a No Show Fee of $100. A party may request to appear by phone if they are unable to appear in person for a reason considered valid by the Court.
To prepare for the ERC, a Resolution Statement is attached with the Order to Appear and must be completed and filed with a copy forwarded to the Case Manager and other party 5 days prior to the conference.
A Case Manager will review the relevant issues and assist the parties with resolving their issues. This does not take place in a courtroom. If the parties can come to an agreement on all issues, a Consent Decree is entered and the parties leave divorced. If the parties only come to a partial agreement or no agreement, the Court will schedule a Resolution Management Conference ("RMC") with the assigned Judge.
The parties are to discuss any possible settlements prior to the RMC, unless there is an Order of Protection. Each party files a Resolution Statement with the Court prior to the conference. A Resolution Statement identifies the parties position on the issues without argument. The purpose of the RMC is to settle issues before trial. If there is not any agreements or only partial agreements, the Court will normally schedule prehearing deadlines and a trial and/or other future event to decide the remaining issues in the case.
If a response is filed and the other party is represented by an attorney, an ERC will not be scheduled. In fact, nothing may happen with the Court unless a Motion to Set for Trial or Request for Resolution Management Conference is filed. This time period may also be used for discovery requests, wherein the parties seek information and documents from each other.
The information provided is based on Arizona family court procedures and specifically to the Maricopa County Superior Court.
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